Editor's note: Over the next five weeks, the Iowa State Daily sports editors will be doing a series of why every team that has a top 10 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft makes sense for Tyrese Haliburton and why he would want to play with them.
In Tyrese Haliburton's first season in college, he turned some heads as he showed playmaking, shooting and defensive abilities that stood out on an already talented Iowa State roster.
Year two is where he really shined when he took the reins as the focal point of the offense and became a top prospect for the 2020 NBA Draft. The No. 10 pick is going to the Phoenix Suns and there is a lot to like about that destination if you're Phoenix and Tyrese Haliburton.
Why the Suns want Tyrese
The Suns were a rather pedestrian team in the 2019-20 season, but after the COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA restarted during the middle of the summer and the Suns were the talk of the league for a couple weeks.
Phoenix won every single game in the bubble format end to the regular season, but it wasn't enough to secure a spot in the NBA Playoffs.
Regardless of the outcome, the Suns will be looking to compete and with center Deandre Ayton's growth, forward Kelly Oubre's emergence and guard Devin Booker's offensive stardom, Phoenix is looking for that playmaker who can control an untamed offense.
Enter Tyrese Haliburton.
Haliburton would have to compete with Ricky Rubio — an aging point guard that in a lot of ways mirrors Haliburton with playmaking being his main strength and a propensity to get his hands in passing lanes. Rubio seems like a good fit already.
However, Rubio will be 30 by draft time and Haliburton has shown he could plug in pretty quickly as a starter in the league.
Haliburton also has something Rubio lacks — a consistent jump shot and 3-point shooting. Rubio stands as a 32.8 percent 3-point shooter through his nine seasons.
If the Suns want Ayton to take the next step, Haliburton can help bring that out as he thrives on pick and rolls as well as transition play.
While there are roadblocks, the Suns could definitely use a guy like Haliburton.
Why Tyrese wants the Suns
Haliburton has shown an ability to mesh with the team around him. His first season with Iowa State he was not one of the top options, but that gave him the chance to either facilitate or play off ball on offense and become a threat from deep.
The Suns will need him to mesh a bit, especially with an established point guard in Rubio.
But Haliburton won't just be competing with the veteran. Rubio is good at some things Haliburton could really work on, like on-ball defense and lateral quickness.
If not for teaching, it could at least give Haliburton an incentive to improve those areas of his game.
He would also get the chance to compete for a playoff spot right away, unlike many top 10 teams.
The Suns will have to compete in the Western Conference, so it won't be easy, but Phoenix clearly wants to be a contender and if Haliburton can add youth and transition flare to an already exciting young team, the Suns could find themselves in a position to steal a spot in the West.